How Video Games Helped Forge an Unbreakable Bond Between My Sister and I

Two people playing FIFA on controllers

Growing up, it was hard to find common ground with my sister. A five-year age difference meant that by the time I started high school, she was already in her final year and preparing to graduate. It didn’t help that we were about as different as you can get when it comes to sisters.

To put it simply, she was the type of person who ditched her peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, while I was the one who dutifully made them for us each morning before school (which earned me the nickname “Mini Mum”). Oh, and did I mention that we shared a room? Still, regardless of the age gap, our differing personalities and our tendency to argue like cats and dogs, the one thing that never failed to bring us together was our shared love for video games.

They say that peak younger sibling culture is genuinely enjoying and being okay with watching someone else play video games rather than playing them yourself — and I couldn’t agree more. Many of my most cherished childhood memories involve me doing that very thing. I’d pull up a chair to my sister’s side of the room and watch her play everything from shooting games, to adventure games and co-op battle games and my personal favourite, “Silent Hill”. Sometimes, I was permitted to offer advice on a particularly difficult puzzle or obstacle that my sister was stuck on. But more often than not, it was simply enough for me to sit in complete silence and enjoy her company. 

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what was so enjoyable about watching my sister play video games. All I can say is that in those moments, it felt like we had escaped to another world where it was just us against the bad guys. To face that alone would be terrifying, but with my sister’s help, she could guide us to victory.

I would answer her call to arms — aka, “Isha, are you awake?” “Maybe.” “Do you want to play games with me?” “Yes!”. Then, together, we’d stay up way past our bedtime and battle mythical beasts, escape monster-filled towns, and solve puzzles. Usually with just seconds remaining until the very worst could happen — all the while trying not to wake up our mum. I mean, have you really bonded as sisters until you’ve played the entirety of “Silent Hill” together while trying not to scream in terror every time you heard the eerie static sound from the in-game radio?


As I got older, my video game skills improved and I was able to hold my own. Instead of battling each other in real life, we’d channel our frustrations into games instead. Sometimes, I would emerge victorious — although that never meant I was allowed the privilege of being Player 1. Oh no, that was reserved for older siblings — even if we had to go through the whole song and dance of switching controllers. But I didn’t mind, well, not that much. Because here I was, having an unbridled amount of fun with my sister. If we ever had a nasty argument, our version of extending an olive branch was her asking if I wanted to watch her play a video game. And, of course, the answer was always yes.

Things changed, though, and one day my sister moved out of home. In fact, she moved to a completely different state. At first, I remember being so excited about having a room all to myself. I would have more wardrobe space, the freedom to turn off the bedroom light and go to sleep whenever I wanted and some peace and quiet. In saying that, the room quickly began to feel empty. Gone was my sister’s gaming PC, along with the Xbox we spent hours playing. In her defence, she bought it, so it was only fair that she took it with her. The other consoles had already been sold off (which is a decision I still regret to this very day).

During this time, my interest in video games began to wane. I was attending university — and in between assignments, internships, extracurriculars and social activities, there wasn’t much time for gaming. Plus, without my sister, it gradually became less of a priority for me. Years passed, and it wasn’t until recently, as a bored adult trapped inside their home during the coronavirus lockdowns, that I rediscovered my love for video games. Instantly, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia.


In hindsight, she was the one who introduced me to the gaming world, setting me on a path toward a career in games journalism. And without those same video games, I might not have enjoyed such a close relationship with my sister. Maybe that’s why I’ve never replayed “Silent Hill”, even though it’s one of my favourite video games. It just isn’t the same without my older sister at the controls.

Even though we’re both adults now, I still bug her to play video games with me. It’s one of my favourite things to do. I hope she understands that I will never stop asking her to game with me. Not even when we’re old and retired, with kids of our own who’ll make fun of us for playing. She will always be my Player 1 and I will always be her Player 2.

Related Posts
Latest Gaming
The End.

The next story, coming up!